For Nike, Simplicity Yields Gold

NEW YORK There’s something to be said about minimalist production, and this spot showcases it beautifully. It’s a Nike ad from Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore., that makes little fanfare of superstar sprinter Sanya Richards. The Olympic gold medalist is at the starting line, about to begin her race. The camera focuses only on her. Her body leaning into position, a side view, an overhead shot as she sprints forward and her feet leave the starting blocks. It’s all filmed in slow motion and the music is equally peaceful, nicely contrasting with the charge of energy rippling through her muscles. The only copy in the ad appears once she’s become vertical and is taking off on her run, “Beautiful.” And then comes the Nike swoosh—a simple, elegant study in the art of the run.